At age 29, it’s finally time to think about learning to drive.
There are certain rights of passage that generally mark ones transition from teenhood into adulthood. For most of us, these include such activities as moving out of your parent’s house, losing your virginity, maybe going to college, and usually learning how to drive a car… Well, good reader, I somehow managed to skip over this last one, and have just today, in the middle of my 29th year and for the first time, obtained my Learner’s Licence to begin learning how to drive. Hurrraaaaaaaay.
One might wonder how I avoided this particular milestone for so long. Well, it’s simple really…
When I was 16, I took the test once, and failed it. I was so much of a keener in highschool that my extra-curriculars were in direct and constant conflict with the operating hours of the DMV, thus making it nearly impossible for me to retake the test. Let’s not forget the fact that I was also joined at the hip to the love of my teen life, who happened to always have access to his mother’s ’66 Comet, so who needed to drive anyways? This combined with the fact that both of my parents are CRAZY, and not only would it have been horrible to learn to drive from either of them, I believe that they both actually outright refused to teach me. Eight months after turning 16, I moved to the big city (Vancouver) to attend university. Here, not only was there noone who legally could teach me how to drive, there was also no need. I lived on campus at the time, and in the years that followed once I moved away from school, my bicycle coupled with the city’s transit system served me well.
Of course there were moments when a licence would have been helpful… for instance, that time when two girlfriends and I were giddily planning a roadtrip down the coast to California until we realized that none of us could drive. THE END. It would have also been useful when my friend Ayma and I took a whirlwind trip from Whitehorse to Dawson City in the Yukon and back in two days; Ayma was the sole driver for 10 hours each way. My job was to keep her company, shuffle through the three good songs that we had found on the collection of CDs in her mom’s car, and shotgun a beer at every rest stop for her amusement. Then there has also been every time I have ever moved; many times begging a friend to drive to the waterslides in the summer; and let’s not forget, every time I have ever needed to get anything from IKEA.
All of these events were irritating, but not quite irritating enough. Plus there was still the fact that in Vancouver, I would need to either shell out a bagillion dollars for driving lessons, or have a friend who was over 25 who had a full licence and also had a car to teach me how to drive (this combination was exceedingly rare).
Lately though, as “I’ll have my licence by the time I’m 26” turned into 27, and 28, and 29… it seemed like more and more pressing of an issue. I mean, what if I wanted to take a roadtrip on my own one day? What happens when I have a baby? Would I always have to rely on the kindness of friends to get to IKEA? These questions kept swirling around in my brain until one sunny weekday afternoon when I decided that this was it. Also, as I pushed 30, more and more of my friends had cars and were also pushing 30 themselves. IT WAS FINALLY TIME TO GET MY LEARNER’S LICENCE.
After a short 30 minute study, a quick trip over to the DMV, and a few *beep, bop, boops* on a computer touch screen later, I was finally legally allowed to get behind the wheel of a car and drive (albeit under strict supervision). After being congratulated by the clerk at the DMV and sent on my merry way, I wondered why it had taken me so long. Fear? Laziness? Who knows…
But from this day forward, July 16th, 2012 will be known as the day that Altaira Rebekkah Jude Northe took her first steps towards learning how to drive.